Code of Conduct and Policies
Code of Conduct and Policies Quick Links
 

Our Mission
To help all Greenwood citizens be more connected, informed, and entertained through free access to our resources and programs.


Code of Conduct
The Greenwood County Library System (hereinafter referred to as "Library") strives to provide and maintain inviting facilities where individuals feel welcomed and valued. To promote orderly conduct and to help protect Library staff, patrons and property, the Library has established behavior regulations.

Behavioral regulations will be enforced by Library staff or designee in a fair and reasonable manner. Parents and caregivers, not Library staff, are responsible for the actions and safety of children visiting the Library. Library staff and/or law enforcement officers are authorized to stop prohibited activities and behaviors.

Any individual's failure to comply with the Library's established regulations and policies may result in an individual's restriction/termination of Library privileges, exclusion from Library property for the remainder of the day to permanent exclusion and/or arrest/prosecution. Any individual excluded from Library property may appeal in writing to the Library Director.

Any behavior that is disruptive to Library use; violations of Federal, State, or local laws; and violations of Library policy are prohibited. Examples of prohibited activities and behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Possessing, consuming, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Engaging in sexual activity of any kind.
  • Threatening to commit or committing acts of violence.
  • Displaying material inconsistent with the Library's Computer Use and Internet Access Policy.
  • Possessing weapons or other items deemed by Library staff or law enforcement officers as potentially dangerous to others.
  • Intentionally damaging, destroying, or stealing any property belonging to the Library, patrons, or staff.
  • Prolonged display of affection.
  • Failing to heed requests of Library staff in relation to potential Code of Conduct violations or other Library business.
  • Removing, altering, relocating, or misusing Library furnishings.
  • Using obscene or abusive language or engaging in obscene/intimidating actions.
  • Creating disruptive noices such as loud talking, screaming, or banging on Library furnishings.
  • Interfering in any way with the free movement of others.
  • Persistent staring or following others around on Library property.
  • Attempting to enter nonpublic areas of the Library.
  • Failing to silence all electronic devices. All sound produced by electronic devices must be silenced or audible only to the user.
  • Talking on cell phones.
  • Smoking or using tobacco products.
  • Bringing animals, other than service animals, onto Library premises without staff approval.
  • Consuming food or beverages with the exception of baby bottles for infants and toddlers. Mothers may breastfeed their babies.
  • Bringing into the building any large or cumbersome items, such as bicycles, bedrolls, luggage, etc.
  • Creating an obstruction for others on entering or exiting buildings or while on Library property.
  • Skateboarding or skating on Library grounds.
  • Selling and/or soliciting for services, money, or products.
  • Sleeping.
  • Using photographic, video, or other recording devices without Library staff approval.
  • Entering a Library facility without footwear and a shirt, pants, or other covering of the upper and lower body. Carried children are exempt from the footwear requirement.
  • Misusing public restrooms. Bathing, shaving, or lingering is prohibited.
  • Adults lingering in the Teen Center or children's areas when unaccompanied by children.
  • Caregivers failing to pick up children or youth under age 18 at a Library by the facility's closing time.
  • Caregivers leaving children under 11 years of age unattended or in the care of someone less than 15 years old. Caregivers must remain in the same area of the Library as the child being cared for.
Approved October 8, 2013

Social Media Policy
Purpose of the Library System’s Social Media Sites

The Greenwood County Library System (“Library System”) has established social media sites to inform Library users about Library programs, events (including those co – sponsored with other organizations), and materials, and to encourage dialogue and the exchange of information and knowledge between users and Library staff about these programs, events, and materials.
These social media sites are not intended to be traditional public forums for the general exchange of ideas and viewpoints, but a limited forum for discussing library programs, events, and materials. Courts have recognized that Libraries are limited-purpose public forums, and, as such, are only obligated to permit the public to exercise rights that are consistent with the nature of the Library and consistent with the government’s intent in designating the Library as a traditional public forum. All posts related to this statement of purpose are permitted except as otherwise stated in this policy.
 
Agreement
By choosing to comment on the Library System’s social media sites, users agree to comply with this policy and the Library System’s policy on Internet and Computer Use as applicable.
 
Disclaimer
The Library System is not responsible or liable for the content of postings by third parties on any Library – sponsored social media site, and those postings do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Greenwood County Library System, its employees, or the Board of Trustees.
 
No Privacy
Users should have no expectation of privacy in postings on Library System – sponsored social media sites, and by using these sites, users consent to the Library System’s right to access, monitor, and read any postings on the sites. Posted content is subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
 
Ownership
By posting on the Library’s social media sites, a user gives the Library permission to use his/her name, profile picture, and the content of any posting without compensation to him/her or liability on the part of the Library. This permission ends when the user deletes his/her post.
Postings
Postings will be monitored by designated Library staff on a regular basis during normal operating hours. Postings by the public should be related to library resources or to the content posted. Any postings inconsistent with this stated purpose, as determined by the Library System in its sole discretion, may be removed in accordance with the process set forth in this policy. Examples of postings not permitted include, but are not limited to:
  1. Advertisements.
  2. Spam.
  3. Links to other sites.
  4. Posts which contain obscene matter.
  5. Disparaging, harassing, abusive, profane, or offensive posts.
  6. Posts that are hateful, threatening, pornographic, and/or contain graphic or gratuitous violence.
  7. Potentially libelous or defamatory posts.
  8. Posts which contain privileged, proprietary, or confidential information about any person, business, or entity, including patrons, vendors, the Library System, or Library partners.
  9. Posts which violate or potentially violate local, state, or federal laws, including intellectual property and copyright laws.
  10. Posts which discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, age, sexual orientation, creed, or ancestry.
  11. Posts which are sexually harassing, including epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, sexual rumors that show hostility toward individuals based on gender, derogatory comments about individuals’ body or appearance, unwelcome sexual compliments, innuendos, suggestions, or jokes.
Violations of this Policy
Postings which the Library in its sole discretion deems a violation of this policy may be removed in part or whole by the Library System or its agents immediately upon discovery by the Library System or its agents without prior notice. The Library System reserves the right to terminate library accounts, ban, or block users who post in violation of this policy.
 
Reporting Violations
Users may report violations of the Library’s Social Media site’s policies to the Library by contacting the Library Director at ptaylor@greenwoodcountylibrary.org or the Reference Staff at referencedesk@greenwoodcountylibrary.org. Individuals blocked for posting prohibited content may appeal in writing to the Library Director.
 
Employee Postings
Employees who engage in social networking, including sites such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs or wikis for personal use must do so on their own time. If an employee is speaking about a Library – related issue on his or her personal social networking site, the employee must identify that he or she is speaking as an individual and not on behalf of the Greenwood County Library System. Employees may be subject to discipline if their comments are deemed to be inappropriate by the Library System.
 
The Library recognizes that public employees do not surrender their First Amendment right by reason of their employment and that the First Amendment protects a public employee’s right, in certain circumstances, to speak as a citizen addressing matters of public concern. When a public employee makes statements about his/her work responsibilities, the employee is not speaking as a citizen for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate his/her communications from potential discipline by the Library System. 
 
Approved April 11, 2017

Unattended, Abandoned, Disruptive and Ill/Injured Child Policy
 
Unattended Child
The Greenwood County Library System welcomes and encourages all children to use its facilities and services. The library is free and open to unaccompanied children who are independent enough to use our resources properly for their intended purpose. However, the responsibility for the care, safety and behavior of children using the library rests with their parents or guardians at all times.

Children 10 years of age and younger must be accompanied by a responsible guardian at all times. This includes those left in the care of an older child.

Children 10 years of age or younger may not be left in the department without a responsible guardian under any circumstances. A responsible guardian is considered to be an individual who is at least 16 and who can successfully meet all the needs of the child.

Children between the ages of 11 and 15 should not be left unattended in the library for extended periods of time. Attendance at library programs, browsing for recreational reading and afterschool use of the library for homework and study are encouraged and considered appropriate. The library considers 3 hours (depending on the age and conduct of the child) to be an appropriate stay in the library. Children age 11 and older must be able to reach a parent or responsible guardian immediately either in person or by phone. Parents/ Guardians may be notified and asked to pick up and/or provide supervision for their child.

The Library does not take responsibility for the supervision or safety of unattended children.
 
If it is determined that a child is lost or unattended a staff member will bring the child to the Children’s Services Coordinator, or, if unavailable, the child will be brought to the children’s room staff. The Children’s Room staff member will try to locate the parent or responsible guardian by asking the child where the parent is, by walking around the library with the child, and by paging the parent over the public address system. If the parent is not found in the building, the child is considered “abandoned.”
 
Abandoned Children
An abandoned child is defined as:
  • A child 10 or younger who is left in the library without a responsible guardian at any time.
  • A child 11-15 who remains at the library after closing.
  • A child whose parents have been contacted but have not picked the child up within an hour or attempted contact within one hour of the library’s phone call.
Parents should be aware of the library’s hours of operation, bearing in mind circumstances may require an unexpected closing of the building. If staff determines a child to be abandoned, the following steps will be taken:
  • The librarian will try to obtain the necessary information in order to contact the parent or guardian.
  • Every attempt will be made to contact the parent or guardian, but the library reserves the right to contact police to report an abandoned child.
  • Under no circumstances will a staff member transport a child to another location.
Disruptive Child
The Children’s Room encourages exploration and creativity. However, disruptive behavior is not tolerated in any form by any patron. Disruptive behavior can be defined as:
• Behavior that disturbs or endangers the well-being of library patrons, staff, or the disruptive child herself/himself.
• Behavior that results in damaged property.
• Behavior that interferes with library services
The disruptive child and his parent or guardian will be given a warning and told if the behavior continues they will be asked to leave. If the disruptive behavior continues, a staff member will inform the parent or guardian and the child and his parent or guardian may be asked to leave the library.
 
Ill or Injured Child
Children who are ill may be asked to leave the library if Children’s staff determines that it poses a risk to other patrons. Children who are home sick from school should not be in the library. This includes all children of school age.
The Library Director will be notified of any incident that involves a call to 911 or emergency personnel. 
 
Approved April 11, 2017

Unattended Vulnerable Adult Policy
The Library strives to provide a warm, welcoming and safe environment for all community members. The Library is particularly concerned for the safety of vulnerable adults in and around the Library. A vulnerable adult is an individual over the age of 18 who is mentally or physically challenged to a degree that significantly impairs the individual's ability to provide adequately for his/her own care or manage his/her own behavior without assistance.
A parent/guardian or caregiver 18 years of age or older must be responsible for monitoring the activities and managing the behavior of vulnerable adults during their Library visits. Staff cannot be expected to monitor or prevent vulnerable adults from leaving the building/grounds or to assume responsibility for monitoring their behavior. The Library will adhere to the following guidelines concerning the care and behavior of vulnerable adults:
  • Vulnerable adults, who can understand and follow the rules of conduct and who can care for themselves, are welcomed to be in the Library unattended. Vulnerable adults will be expected to follow the rules of conduct as outlined in the Public Behavior Policy. They should have contact information for a parent/guardian or caregiver who can assist them in an emergency.
  • Vulnerable adults who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves must be attended and have adequate supervision at all times.
  • Staff will attempt to contact a parent/guardian or caregiver when a vulnerable adult’s:
    • health or safety is in doubt.
    • behavior disturbs other Library users.
    • actions violate any of the rules of conduct for library patrons.
    • parent/guardian or caregiver is not present at closing time.
Every reasonable effort will be made by the staff to assist the vulnerable adult in contacting the appropriate adult. If no responsible adult is reached, or the vulnerable adult is not picked up within15 minutes of Library closing, staff may notify the police.
 
Approved April 11, 2017